June 31. Harry Potter's seventeenth Birthday.

"I'm so glad you could come, Mione," gasped seventeen year old Harry Potter as he led his brunette friend out of the noisy, happy and unbearably warm living room of Number 13 Grimmauld Place. Sighing in relief, they both slid down against the oak paneled wall in the hallway. The living room was stuffed with all of the Weaselys, including Ron, who was currently snogging with Luna in a corner. You see, Mrs. Weasely had taken it upon herself to give Harry the best birthday party anyone could ever dream of, and invited all three houses of the school in Harry's year, excluding Slytherin, of course.

"Harry, of course I came! After all, it is not every day that a girl's best friend in the entire world turns seventeen!" Hermione exclaimed, shoving her dark chestnut curls behind her ears. Smiling slightly, she sighed, her dark cinnamon eyes focusing on Harry.

"Hey Harry?"

"Hmm?"

"Promise me we'll always, always be friends, yeah? And that you'll never leave me for some ...flirt?"

"Mione! Trust me, nothing could break us up. The Golden Trio is too strong for that!" Harry's eyes sparked up indignantly.

"Oh yeah, Ron, too." the brunette muttered sheepishly.

"What, forget about dear old Ronniekins?" Harry teased, before launching towards Hermione in a tickle attack.

Once they settled down, Hermione looked towards Harry with a serious expression on her face. "I don't ever want to lose you Harry, you're the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life."

Harry caught his breath, then released it lightly and said, "Well, then, Mione doll, if you're that worried, I have a proposition for you- if we're both still single and not in love with anyone else by my twenty seventh birthday, ten years from now, we'll get married, okay?"

Eyes large and bright, Hermione looked startled. "Well, I was just going to say that we have to promise never to lose touch or lose sight of our goals, but.. I like your idea more," she said, laughing slightly. "After all, if we get along this well as best friends, think of how well we could live being married!" Hermione joked.

"So it is agreed then? If we are both single and not in love with anybody else on my twenty-seventh birthday, we promise to marry each other so we won't spend the rest of our days lonely?"

"Agreed." Hermione stated firmly.

Hermione leaned into hug Harry, giving him a sweet and chaste peck on the cheek as she did so, not noticing the pink tinge that grazed his cheeks. Suddenly, he shouted "Hey!"

"Is it?" question Hermione, a dubious look in between her eyebrows.

"Is is!" Harry stated solemnly, although a bright gleam lingered in his eyes.

"THE MACARANA!" they yelled together, as loudly as they could, before tripping over one another in their haste to get back to the living room and join the dance.

Present Day- July 30

"Well, I was thinking more of a salmon color dress for the wedding, Ms. Granger. Don't you have anything that works with my skin tone? After all, white is so... sixties!" complained a screechy, loud and consistently annoying voice that made the other customers wince.

"Miss Beuregard, I did pick out some lovely samples of cream and ivory, which are a very different concept than white. I particularly liked the square neck lace and chiffon ivory Marie Taylo-" but Hermione's patient reply was cut off by an insistent "SALMON!" and a death glare from the bride- to- be's doting mother.

With an incoherent grumble, Hermione wheeled the rack of twenty various original designer wedding gowns that were so spectacularly beautiful, Hermione knew of several women in this store who would give everything they had for one of these.

"Ms. Beuregard, I'm afraid we don't have any salmon gowns, but I've noticed several patterns in your dress preferences. You seem to have taken a liking for long-sleeved V-neck dresses that have a netting overlay with seed pearls sewn into the bodice. You also seem to be drawn towards brighter colors, so I've picked this dress out."

Gaping, her client stared dumb stricken at the magnificent dress in front of her. (Well, magnificent to her, Hermione wouldn't have worn it for the world.) It was a sage green V-neck dress with an empire waistline that flattered Emollient Beuregard's rather... flat figure. The train was long, trailing four feet behind the sage green matching heels that Hermione also brought out. On the bodice, small seed pearls were worked into the fabric inconspicuously, shining glimmers of light when the dress moved. "Now, Ms. Beuregard, this waistline really flatters your figure, because it brings the attention to your chest, which, if I'm not mistaken, your fiancé will appreciate," she paused, stopping for a quick giggle with the bride. "This dress is a one of a kind original made by Mark Luis, and as you know, he is one of the most sought after dress designers."

Then, Emollient Beuregard spoke. "Oh, Hermione, this is the one! I can feel it, I was made to wear this dress! Mark Luis may be one of the most sought-after dress designers, but I'm just glad that you've helped me through all of this wedding hassle," she cried, tears welling up in her eyes.

Hermione hugged her lightly, then pushed her gently into the dressing rooms. "Why must I always dress the brides, and never actually be one?" she murmured desperately, head falling into her hands. Just then, a thin envelope zipped out of the fireplace, hovering for a moment before flying into the cubby strategically marked 'Personal'. Sliding out from her chair, she ripped it open, hands beginning to shake as she recognized the spiky handwriting that consumed almost a full page of parchment.

Dear Hermione,

As you might have guessed, it's Harry Potter. I'm sorry I haven't written in so long. I would normally make an excuse in this situation if it was anyone but the smartest witch in Hogwarts I was writing to. So this is what I'm going to say: Please, please, please forgive me! I can't make any excuses, I saw the letters that you sent me, and I suppose I just shoved them to the back of my mind. All I can hope is that you find it in your heart to forgive me.

Hopefully, if you're still reading this, which if I know you, you are, please give me a chance. I have to admit, I still haven't the right to assume that you will give me a chance, but I know you'll be proud of me for what I'm doing now- I am the DADA professor at Hogwarts, for my third year. Dumbledore contacted me after Professor Whats his Name left. To the student's astonishment, I am the only DADA professor that has lasted more than a year. Remember our track record of DADA teachers while we were in school?

I am also legally able to perform Auror duties, though many Aurors like me have been on civilian duty for years now. Obviously, I am living at Hogwarts, although with the most beautiful girl ever. See, she has these dark almond-shaped eyes, and dark silky hair that falls 'round her head just beautifully. She's sweet, and kind, and gentle, and is affectionate to anyone that she trusts.

Hermione's heart leapt. She didn't know why, but her eyes began to gloss over with tears.

And before you say anything, it's not Cho. Ennee (pronounced like En-knee) is really beautiful, the pick of the litter, in fact. Before you reprimand me about talking about the love of my life like that, Ennee is a German Shepherd puppy. I just got her three months ago, so she is close to four months old now. I understand completely why they say a dog is a man's best friend.. is that old firecracker cat of yours, Crookshanks, still hanging around? Can't blame him, after all, you were the only one that liked him, and now that you're away from us, he has no worries in the world except for the little mice in the closets!

Hermione, I was wondering if you remembered that pact that we made on my seventeenth birthday? You know, the one where we said that if by my twenty-seventh birthday we were both still single, we'd get married? Well, I hope I don't sound like a loser saying this, but I'm still single and as my birthday is tomorrow. Please say that you will consider writing back and think about that pact that we made. Remember, I'm not holding you to anything you might regret.

Your friend

Harry James Potter

Hermione dropped the parchment, staring off into space. She sat like that for a while, then glanced at the paper sitting on her desk. Heaving in a deep breath, she set her jaw and grabbed a pen.

HARRY POTTER POV

Harry Potter jumped as Hedwig sailed through the open kitchen window of his three-bedroom flat, dropping an envelope of gold with red trim onto his lap. He shook his head as he realized that he was just staring at the letter, then grabbed a large knife from the stand on the counter and slitting the envelope. His mouth grew dry when the letterhead on top of the paper said "Hermione Jayne Isabele Granger". Ignoring the rest of the letterhead, his eyes skipped down to the greeting.

Dear Harry,

I never thought that writing a letter to my best friend could be so awkward. And don't blame yourself, anyone in this situation would feel awkward.

Well, I will tell you a little about what I'm doing now so you can decide if the offer still stands. I'm twenty-seven, same as you, I'm single, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this letter, and live in muggle London. I own a Wedding Apparel shop (specializes in Muggle weddings for Magical people), and am also training for my muggle degree in child psychology. As you know, this takes almost six years to accomplish, so that's when I decided to start Hermione's Dresses to bring in some extra money for college.

I suppose that is all there is to say about me right now. I remember your pact, and if it is still intact, I will uphold my side of it. So, if you were asking in a roundabout way for me to marry you since we're both single and pathetic, I'd say yes. But of course, that doesn't matter unless the offer still stands- does it?

Hermione Jayne Isabele Granger

Harry's breath caught in his throat. He reread the paragraph again- and again. He bit the inside of his cheek as he thought. He flipped her letter over, and scribbled in reply one single word- "Yes".